Over the last several years, the labor struggle has dramatically increased. Strikes at Starbucks and the University of California garnered national news. Public approval for unions is at a historic high despite the low rate of unionization. New campaigns to organize have emerged in workplaces from Amazon to Trader Joe’s. Formations like UAWD have emerged to topple old failed leaders and attempt to pursue more militant strategies and tactics.
But the politicians and bosses remain intransigent. The Biden Administration intervened to block the railways’ strike at the end of last year. Bosses are unwilling to concede pay increases that keep pace with inflation. And a possible recession and increased unemployment threaten to undermine workers’ bargaining power.
This situation poses strategic and political questions for the labor movement. How can existing unions defend themselves against an unrelenting bosses’ offensive? How can new unions organize for better wages, working conditions, and social justice in the workplace? How can the labor movement break free of the business unionist strategy of labor/management cooperation and political reliance on the Democrats?
Join us for this panel of leading labor militants to debate and discuss which way forward for the labor movement.
Sheila Kulkarni, graduate student, United Auto Workers Local 2865, University of California striker
Sarah Beth Ryther, grocery store worker, employee organizer with Trader Joe’s United, the independent union formed for and by Trader Joe’s employees
Matt Weaver, carpenter, BMWED-IBT, Ohio Legislative Director, Railroad Workers United (RWU) Steering Committee
Elizabeth Lalasz, registered nurse, union steward, National Nurses United, Tempest Collective
(Organizations listed for identification purposes only.)
Featured Image Credit: Nevena Pilipovic-Wengler; modified by Tempest.
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